Although opening a chambres d’hotes looks an appealing career choice, offering guests dinner – or table d’hôte, as it’s called – strikes fear into my heart. Already the thought of having more than six people for dinner is sending me into a blind panic.
Common sense dictates that to make a chambre d’hôtes viable, you should have as many guests as possible. French law stipulates that you can have a maximum of five guest bedrooms and up to 15 guests at any time.
So far, so good. Breakfast can be relatively simple: fresh juice, bread, pastries, coffee… That all sounds perfectly manageable.
However, you can offer table d’hôte too, where you serve dinner for your guests. The law says they should eat the same food as the hosts and at the same table.
That’s where it all starts to come a bit unstuck. You might think I would like it. After all, I like meeting new people and I enjoy cooking for others. That’s a good start.
On top of that, my inner perfectionist loves setting a table with sparkling glassware and elegant cutlery. The napkins, candles and flowers have to be just so, too.
I get terribly stressed, though, and am terrible company before the meal.
“My inner perfectionist loves setting a table with sparkling glassware and elegant cutlery”
That leaves me several options, I guess: don’t offer tables d’hôte at all, let Damon do all the cooking, or get in more practice of cooking for people.
I suspect my friends won’t mind if I go for option three.